Monday, January 31, 2011

Luxury Getaway

Today's picture is the swim up rooms at Sandals Royal Caribbean resort in Jamaica. Love the idea of being able to swim to your room! Now I would not suggest doing this if you have your luggage with you, but it certainly gives you and your honey a lot more privacy than lounging at the main pool.

One of the things that I really enjoy about all the Sandals Resorts is their emphasis on excellent quality food and drinks. Since it is an all-inclusive resort--you do not have to make choices based on quality or compromise because of price. I have never been disappointed with any meal at these resorts.

And they always have several different types of restaurants from Tex-Mex to Italian, Japanese and just plain great gourmet buffet. And if you stay at the family friendly Beaches Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean, you can choose from 16 restaurants! I had one of the best steaks of my life when enjoying their French restaurant.

When you have so many choices of places to eat, I like to treat the meal like a progressive dinner party. Drinks and appetizers at the bar, salad at another restaurant, main course at a 3rd and of course, dessert at a 4th. Then on to the nightlife and entertainment! So call today 512-805-9500 and I can make your dining dreams come true!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Friday to all! Today's picture is NOT at an exotic destination (well maybe to some people) but is is right here at the Texas Gulf Coast! This picture was taken at Magnolia Beach on Matagorda Bay. It is a small community about halfway between Port Lavaca and Port O'Connor. For a pure beach experience, it is one of the best! No condos located here yet, no tourist stores or shell shops, just SUN, beach and FUN. It also includes a boat launch, 20 free covered picnic areas, a bird walk, kayaking, a great place to sail, and of course fishing and even crabbing. At the end of the 5 mile beach stretch is also a marina.

I have 2 fully furnished vacation rental homes located here at Magnolia Beach and they are great for families or just getting away. For more information, check out my website at

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Let's All Go to the Bahamas!

Ready to fly away to warmer lands? I am!

One of my favorite resorts in the world is Sandals Royal Bahamian. It is an awesome place, not only for the resort itself, the offshore island you can enjoy, the tax free shopping, but also the gambling. All this in one location.

On the island (for Sandals guests) there is beach on two sides, a lovely pool with swim up bar and a great restaurant. You can spend the entire day here and dream that YOU own it!

In addition, they have a restaurant called Baccarat which should have a 6 star designation--total excellence in their cousine. It is included in the restaurants available to you as guest, but you do have to make reservations after you check into the resort. Last time I visited I counted 17 tables, so it is tiny, but mighty on the palate.

So call today. . .for a limited time, this great all-inclusive resort is offering up to a 65% discount on the resort, but also a free companion fare on the airline tickets. Call today 512-805-9500 and I can get you on your way to warmer lands!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Here I am in Cobh (pronounced cove) Ireland standing next to the statue to Annie Moore whose group is turned toward America. Her fame is that she is the first Irish immigrant through Ellis Island in New York Harbor. Cobh is the port where most of the Irish immigrants left on the long journey to America. There is a sister statue on Ellis Island with her facing Ireland.

Here at Cobh is an Irish heritage museum and research center--fascinating place and great for your own family research.

If you have never heard of the Irish DNA project, you need to check it out.
By testing your DNA, you can find more of your long lost relatives. And if you have seen the series on TV, "Who Do You Think You Are" (coming soon for another season) then you have an idea of how this opens up new possibilities to your own search.

Travel not only broadens your horizons, but educates and brings people together. So call today to schedule your own voyage of discovery to your heritage, 512-805-9500.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Castles and Kings

Keeping the Irish theme going this week, here is a shot below of Ashford Castle located in County Mayo. It was built beginning in 1228. This charming castle was the highlight of our tour to Ireland and we not only got to stay there, but also dine here! The 5 star accommodations and food were INCLUDED in our tour.

Once owned by the Guiness Family (yes, the brewery family), it was their hunting retreat. Now it is a fabulous place to not only rest for the night, but to eat. The chef was recently honored as one of the very best chefs in all of Ireland. The food was amazing! We were served a 5 course meal by white gloved waiters and treated just like royalty! I could soon get used to this.

Our room was very comfortable and very well furnished. And in the bathroom, there was an indulgence I loved--a heated towel rack! What luxury to have a warm cozy towel waiting for you after your shower.

A booklet published by the castle listed some of the famous people who have stayed here in the past--John Wayne, Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney and many more.

It was not all antiques and old stuff here, they have been updated into the 21st century. There is free internet service for guests! Up a wide, well decorated and elegant staircase is a computer room. So I got to check my email in splendor while connecting with the rest of the world.

So call today 512-805-9500 and you too can be treated like royalty!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Want To Kiss the Blarney Stone?

Welcome to Blarney Castle! Yes, here is the tower you climb to reach the stone. .. then you have to lie down on your back, lean backward and kiss the rock in the wall. Isn't that a great way NOT to lose the rock--actually cement it into the wall? Guess no one can steal it then. But you can't prove by me that it helps with the "gift of gab" and flattery.

Looking at the calendar, it will soon be time for St. Patrick's Day. How about a trip the the "Old Country" and a tour of Irish Pubs to help celebrate that Saint driving the snakes out of Ireland? Now that is something I can get behind! Wish someone would come and drive them out of Texas!

While there during my last visit, I found some lovely Irish wool I brought back for my knitting daughters. There is even a tour for knitters! Part of the tour is going to the Aran Islands and meeting the knitters from that famous region. Call today 512-805-9500 and I can make your wishes come true!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Holiday

Our rainy weather here in Texas reminds me of my trip last December to Ireland. I'm ready to go back and visit; it was one of the best trips of my life.

Above is a picture of the Cliffs of Moher, one of the top attractions in all of Ireland. It is located on the West Side of Ireland and well worth a visit. We happen to be there when it was pouring rain, but as so often happens in Ireland, it cleared up for a short time so we could explore. When it was time to leave, it started raining again.

One amazing thing about the entire trip was that there were so many different shades of green everywhere you looked, despite it being December! No wonder Johnny Cash wrote a song after visiting called "40 Shades of Green".

Call to today 512-805-9500 and I can help you with a trip to this Emerald Isle whether it is an escorted tour, self drive and B&B tour or just to visit for St. Patrick's Day.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Adventures

I am taking the plunge. . .not into a pool, but moving my business from home based (have computer will travel) to a storefront office. So now you will have an opportunity to stop by and visit ME!

Opening soon (before February 1) my office location is 1515 Aquarena Springs, Suite 101 here in San Marcos. Close to Texas State University, just off 1-35 between Austin and San Antonio so easily accessible for everyone.

For a while, my hours will be by chance or appointment, but I will be there as much as possible between 9am to 5pm. Of course, I do have meetings with my clients to deliver documents and take care of other business.

And I will let you know when I have my office warming party so you can come and celebrate with me!

Meanwhile, call me TODAY and see how affordable that getaway can be. 512-805-9500.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Fridays are special to me. . .the represent the "end" of the traditional work week and having time ahead to relax for a couple days. Bet most of you are ready to kick back and go out to dinner or just relax in front of the TV tonight.

But for me, I do not stop working for you. Yes, I'm here for you and answer the phone when you call. And if you are on a trip and have problems or need changes made to your hotels, I am here. This service is not available if you book your travel online at the big wholesale sites. Calling an 800 number will not give you the help you need from an anonymous person; they don't know you.

Service is what we do for our clients. We do CARE about your trip and making things run smoothly for you. We treat you like family and want you to trust us to return for the next vacation. And we are HAPPY if you refer us to your friends and family.

So call today 512-805-9500 and I'll be at answering the phone.

The picture above is Newschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany. Built by King Ludwig (who almost bankrupted the State of Bavaria). And it is this castle which was the inspiration for Walt Disney when he built Cinderella's Castle at both Disney World and Disneyland.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Keeping YOU informed

Dream away--above is the pool and swim up bar at the Melia Cabo Real in the Los Cabos area, a 4 star All-Inclusive resort. Good food, nice rooms, quality drinks. Yes, it is a fabulous idea to have a swim up bar. . .no getting out of the pool to refresh yourself!

My job is to travel and lend my experiences to my clients, but another crucial part is to keep my clients informed about travel news and how it impacts them. This involves not only the newest sales, but also changes in policy like the new Mexican law which took effect on September 14, 2010. The new law limits the amount of US Currency that will be accepted in Mexico on a daily basis as well as a monthly. Below is a link to check it out.

In the past, if traveling in a tourist area like Cancun, Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, Puerta Vallarta or even Ixtapa, I typically would not change my American dollars to pesos. Everyone would quickly accept dollars with no hesitation.

My attitude is that every time you change money, you lose purchasing power. This was brought home to me on a trip to England. I purchased American Express traveler's checks (for a fee) and then when I wanted to exchange them for British pounds, I was charged another fee (5%) to change them. Ouch!

Credit cards are pretty well accepted all over the world now, so it is easy to use them instead of cash. But before you travel, call your credit company and tell them you will be out of the country and what dates. You do not want to be standing in a line to purchase tickets to the Tower of London and have the purchase denied!

At the same time, also check with them about any extra fees they charge for changing the local currency to US dollars. Sometimes it is worth it to pay for purchases with the pesos or pounds or euros and NOT your credit card.

So call me today to book your trip to warmer climates! 512-805-9500 or 1-888-811-4497.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This cold snap has me dreaming of WARM places to visit.

On the left is Sandals Cay, at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort near Montego Bay, Jamaica, one of the two private islands you can enjoy when you visit the Sandals Resorts.

But my favorite one is located at Sandals Royal Bahamian in the Bahamas. By having these islands included with your resort, you not only have the wonderful luxury included resorts to enjoy, but a short boat ride that will whisk you away for your own island experience. More fun and great value. They have restaurants, private beaches and in the Bahamas a pool with a great swim up bar.

I pride myself in matching the resort with my client to give them the best experiences and satisfaction possible. So by using my expertise in travel, I can save you money, time and give you the very best vacation possible. Right now, Sandals is having a sale with up to 65% discounts on the resorts. What a deal!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy Monday!

I'm always happy to start a new week, it is almost like a clean slate and I can start over. Hope you feel the same way.

Just got an email with great deals to Hawaii! Limited time deal. . includes airfare (from San Francisco), 5 nights at a hotel and an Avis Car. ..all for one set price. Oahu starts at $825/person;
Maui from $910/person; Kauai from $904 and Hawaii from $1397. So from here in Austin, you would just need to add flights to and from San Francisco. This picture is from a client who wanted to share how beautiful it was on the beach in Maui.

Call today to take advantage of this limited time promotion! 512-805-9500 or 1-888-811-4497.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Musings

Today it is raining here and overcast. . .Texas winter with a coming cold snap for early next week. All I want to do is to run away to warmer climates!

I would love to enjoy some of the great Spring Break specials I have, but think I'm too old right now (yes, you are as old as you feel) but all the wild craziness is no longer for me. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE to party and have fun, but a bit more sedate.

The pictures above should give you some ideas! The one on the top is at the Los Cabos area in Mexico and the one at the bottom is taken at one of the Sandals Resorts in Jamaica. Yes, I have been to all of the Sandals and Beaches Resorts in Jamaica. . .all the better to preview them for you. I love helping match people and resorts.

For the great Spring Break specials geared to the college crowd, check out This will get you directly into my site to book directly. . .or you can CALL ME (what a novel idea!) at 512-805-9500 or toll free at 1-888-811-4497.

And coming SOON you will be able to personally VISIT us at Trips and Travel with our new office located on Aquarena Springs Drive, after we sign the lease late next week! SO you can pop in, get brochures and personalized help, all at no cost to you! I'll keep you posted as to when we are open, but it will be soon.

Meanwhile, think warm thoughts, dream of your vacation and then CALL me so I can make your travel dreams come true!

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Beginnings for 2011

Finally it is the New Year. . .all the hustle and bustle is GONE. Time to get back to work and FUN!
My resolution is to blog almost daily. And add lots of pictures and good info here for all my readers. But no boring stuff.

The cold weather makes me think of tropical getaways. The picture above is of the Sandals Resort in Negril, Jamaica. Only 7 miles of beautiful white sandy beaches to walk on barefoot and lounge on the beach enjoying Margaritas. Right now there are some great specials for Sandals and their sister Family Resorts, Beaches. Time to call and find out how easy it is to work with a travel agent! Call me today! If I cannot travel, then the next best thing is helping others plan their getaways.